Friday, September 30, 2011

A PEEK IN MY PLANBOOK WEEK IN REVIEW LINKY PARTY for week ending September 30th

A REVIEW OF THE WEEK OF 9/26/11 through 9/30/11

It's your chance to share with the world the fabulous happenings in your classroom each week. Stop by every week or just once in awhile. Share one thing you did or share them all. Show it in pictures or tell about it in words. Reflect about how it went...or don't. Your choice! It'll drive traffic to your site and give you something to blog about each week. Plus, think about how awesome it'll be next year to have it as a reference when writing your lesson plans.

Here's what to do:

1. Blog about something (or everything) you did in your classroom this past week. Be sure to link back to this page in your post so others can find the entire list of participants. Feel free to snag the image above for your post.

2. After you've posted your blog, sign the Linky below. Please only sign in if you are participating.

3. Have fun peeking in other people's planbooks and see the awesomeness of colleagues around the globe.




Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Week in Review for the week ending 9/23



This week was our second full week of school and it was chock full of "foundation laying." Our pacing guide has time built in to do assessments and establish procedures and routines prior to jumping into the curriculum. I do feel as though I know my students well and can properly start addressing their specific needs as learners in small groups and 1:1 conferencing, but I am so ready to roll up my sleeves and get teaching the nitty gritty third grade skills.

We use Treasures for language arts. The first year I used it I tried to do it all. It was overwhelming, but I love the fact that everything is included and I think the stories are great. We were told to "use it as a resource" which I very much appreciate. I love having the ability to use all that Treasures has to offer, but that I can also include the Daily Five and CAFE. My schedule looks a bit different this year, so all of my prep periods this week were spent meeting with my new teaching partner to figure out how we can best combine Treasures and D5 with this years' schedule. I'm so excited with how it is falling into place.

To lay the groundwork for the weeks to come we spent a lot of time "building stamina" and practicing all of the Daily Five components. We EEKKed. We picked just right books. We worked with words. We made anchor charts. We are ready to roll.

I'm way too Type A to truly let them select which of the D5 areas they wish to work in at varied time. Instead we incorporate all of the elements, but in a more structured manner. My literacy block is split this year, but I actually think it's a good thing. We'll do Read to Self if the morning when they enter the classroom. I have an hour set aside for "Reader's Workshop" in the morning. I kick it off with a minilessonusing the lessons from Treasures. After my first minilesson the students "Read to Someone."

This is where my micromanaging comes in. I found "Read to Someone" to be the most challenging of the components when I first started using D5. It's hard to expect 8 year olds to pair up with a friend of choice in a comfy location and actually read. I match them with a partner and assign the 2 of them a specific spot in the classroom. The same child starts reading each day and the other child begins with "checking for understanding." The student with the lower number is responsible for getting the book and the student with the higher number is responsible for returning the book. This makes our short Read to Someone time both efficient and effective. On Monday they read the kick off story from Treasures, on Tuesday they read the Author Biographies that follow the main selection. They also read and discuss the comprehension questions. On Wednesday they read the fluency passages. On Thursday they read the paired selection and on Friday they read from the Treasures leveled readers.

Read to Someone is followed by another mini lesson during which time I teach the Treasures strategies and skills. After that we have 30 minutes for "Reader's Workshop." During Reader's Workshop they will be meeting with me for Guided Reading or 1:1 conferences or else working on a variety of independent reading tasks. I also have students assigned to "Listen to Reading" using the CDs from Treasures, picture books that I have on CD or else using an online program such as Tumblebooks.

After lunch they all "Listen to Reading" as I do read aloud. This is where my most favorite chapter books come in. (on deck: Charlotte's Web).

When Read Aloud ends, my minilesson on Word Study begins. The students will then Work With Words on their own while I meet with students who need extra assistance in this area. I used five of the activities from my Spelling Activities Kit that we will use throughout the year. I modify my students' spelling words and designed this kit to be flexible for that purpose. The kit contains 16 activities that can be used with ANY list of words. I also use them in content areas and with math vocabulary words. I posted about the kit this summer. CLICK HERE TO READ THAT POST & SEE MORE PICTURES of each page.






My literacy time wraps up with a solid hour of Writer's Workshop. I'm so happy to have the time dedicated to the craft this year.

To prepare for the weeks to come and the big kickoff to Treasures we spent this week getting to know some of the activities they'll use for Word Work. This week we did...

We had finished reading Judy Moody. The book is focused around the fact that Judy needs to create an All About Me collage. All of my writing activities were based on the book as was our culminating project of the week: Altered Writing Notebooks. Chaotic fun!

Each student brought in photos from home as well as items that are personal to them, There were ticket stubs from Red Sox games, photocopies of autographs, pet pictures and more. I used to save up magazines and allow them to cut those up as well, but found there were two problems with that.

#1 Underwear ads in a third grade classroom equals no bueno and

#2 The notebooks weren't quite as personalized. The students would cut pictures just to cut them and the results were not reflective of their personalities.

So now I provide them with a bunch of art supplies and they can create their own clip art to add.

I brought in scrapbook paper and stickers and letter stamps.

My friends had a blast showing off their photos, talking about themselves and being creative. I had fun music playing and the room was alive with productivity. They'll finish them up on Monday and we'llModgepodge them to form a seal. The books are such a special keepsake at the end of 3rd grade. This year I'm planning to hot glue ribbon bookmarks into them. I love getting my craft on.

What did you do last week? I would love for you to join my weekly "Peek in My Planbook" Linky party to showcase your classroom.

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

I wrote the post about my new Pumpkin Book Project Kit this morning and then headed off for some family fall fun. I'll be kvetching about my lot in life as a New Englander come January, but gosh Autumn is lovely. What you can't see, smell, or taste in the photos below are the apple cider donuts. Well worth booking a flight for. Go for it. You can stay at my house.

Anyhow...on to the point of this post.

Hubby went to drop the apples off in the car before we tackled the hay maze and I entertained the kiddies by letting them climb all over and try to lift pumpkins. They were content so I decided to quickly check my messages.

Ironically, there were a whole bunch of messages and comments telling me that there was a problem with the link to my Pumpkin Book Project and that people were having a hard time checking out. So there I stood in an actual pumpkin patch trying to figure out went went wrong with the pumpkin file in the virtual world of cyber space. Since I don't make a habit of frequenting pumpkin patches I found this to be comical.

So to all those who sent message as well as anyone else who tried to purchase it...it's fixed.

Sorry for the inconvenience. You shouldn't have anymore problems.
CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE PRODUCT.

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Pumpkin Book Project



Each year I have my kiddos transform a pumpkin into a literary character as their October book project. Did you ever notice how easy it is to motivate kids to read and write when anything "Halloweenish"is involved? I've been doing this project for nine years, yet I continue to be amazed when the pumpkins roll in...figuratively, not literally. They get so creative!Because I have used this with Kindergartners, as well as First, Second and Third Graders, I've needed to tweak it several times. I redesigned all of the pages for it today when I updated it for my own class this year.

With my third graders I am going to focus on character traits. However, the kit was designed to be very flexible. I created two different covers to pick from and attach to the packet you send home. I also kept the directions simple and "generic" so that you can either send it home as is or else add your own specific directions to make it your own.The kit has pages that are appropriate for all elementary grade levels. It can be quick and simple or it can be used to help students focus on just about any literacy skill. I plan to have the students write about their pumpkin at home, but included an area to attach a picture of the student with his/her pumpkin once it comes to school.The 28 page kit is available for instant download. You can get it by clicking here.
The kit includes:
*2 cover sheets to create a packet to send home with your students.
*an overview of ideas on how to create the pumpkin characters
*a reading log to complete while reading the selected text
*a story map page
*a blueprint to design the project
*a page for the students to create a supply list
*an explanation of character traits and a list of traits
*pages to identify traits in a text and record evidence
*draft page
*a primary-aged pumpkin shape to complete
*a primary-ruled pumpkin project themed open ended page with space *for a drawing or photo
*an intermediate-ruled pumpkin project themed open ended page with *space for a drawing or photo
*6 pages of sample photos
*planning/pacing calendar and rubric checklist



Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A PEEK IN MY PLANBOOK WEEK IN REVIEW LINKY PARTY for week ending September 23rd

A REVIEW OF THE WEEK OF 9/19/11 through 9/23/11

It's your chance to share with the world the fabulous happenings in your classroom each week. Stop by every week or just once in awhile. Share one thing you did or share them all. Show it in pictures or tell about it in words. Reflect about how it went...or don't. Your choice! It'll drive traffic to your site and give you something to blog about each week. Plus, think about how awesome it'll be next year to have it as a reference when writing your lesson plans.

Here's what to do:

1. Blog about something (or everything) you did in your classroom this past week. Be sure to link back to this page in your post so others can find the entire list of participants. Feel free to snag the image above for your post.

2. After you've posted your blog, sign the Linky below. Please only sign in if you are participating.

3. Have fun peeking in other people's planbooks and see the awesomeness of colleagues around the globe.



Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A PEEK IN MY PLANBOOK WEEK IN REVIEW LINKY PARTY

Earlier today, I posted my week in review. This gave me an idea and I am excited to announce the first of my new weekly linky parties...

It's your chance to share with the world the fabulous happenings in your classroom each week. Stop by every week or just once in awhile. Share one thing you did or share them all. Show it in pictures or tell about it in words. Reflect about how it went...or don't. Your choice! It'll drive traffic to your site and give you something to blog about each week. Plus, think about how awesome it'll be next year to have it as a reference when writing your lesson plans.

Here's what to do:

1. Blog about something (or everything) you did in your classroom this past week. Be sure to link back to this page in your post so others can find the entire list of participants. Feel free to snag the image above for your post.

2. After you've posted your blog, sign the Linky below. Please only sign in if you are participating.

3. Have fun peeking in other people's planbooks and see the awesomeness of colleagues around the globe.

I'm starting this week's linky party on a Sunday and will leave it open all week to get us started. Going forward the link will go up on Friday afternoons and remain active through Sunday evenings. I'll get us started...





Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Take a Peek at My Week...in Review

What a busy week it's been. I'm thrilled with how quickly the kiddos are internalizing our procedures and routines, but since tomorrow is only Day 9 we're still introducing, modeling, and practicing those daily. My class is super high-energy and very creative. My goal for this year was to add creativity and movement to all of my lessons so it's a great fit. I'm really excited about this year.

We finished our first read aloud: Judy Moody! I love that character! She reminds me of a third grade Junie B. Jones who is another chick I really dig. We started reading Stuart Goes to School. This one is new to me, but my friends are really into it so far and it made for great discussions on the concepts of "text-to-text" and text-to-self."

I just uploaded three new products to my teachers-pay-teachers store. Each of those items were part of this week's lessons and we had fun with all of them. I'm going to expand on each with more pictures and details in future posts, but they are each available now for purchase for only $3.00.

Me on The Map: I love this book for introducing map skills. I created this kit to expand on the concepts in the book and provide the students with a creative project to reinforce them.

Click here to purchase the Me on the Map Kit

WRITER'S IDEA BANK & PARAGRAPH WRITING KIT: Every year students struggled to come up with topics for Writer's Workshop. While I frequently plan guided writing lessons for that block of time, there is also ample opportunity throughout the year to practice their craft with individual free-choice writings. I developed an idea bank activity to assist my students with brainstorming and collecting topics to use throughout the year. This kit also includes my favorite graphic organizer, a paragraph writing rubric and both intermediate and primary ruled pages for drafting and publishing paragraphs.

Click here to purchase the Writer's Idea Bank and Paragraph Writing Kit.



Oh, how this book serves me in so many ways at the start of the school year. I use it to model Listen to Reading. It kicks off our anti-bullying class meetings with a discussion about respecting and appreciating the differences in people. I use it as my first guided writing project. Finally, it makes the most adorable bulletin board for open house. Parents love seeing pictures of their cutie pies and they love it even more when their cutie pie faces are watercolored in stripes.Click here to purchase the Bad Case of the Stripes Kit.




In math we're working on place value and addition review. I'm transitioning them into Math Workshop this week with the hopes of starting it fully the following week. I haven't forgotten about my promise to explain how it runs in detail. I just wanted to have it up and running to really let you see how it works.

Enjoy your Sunday friends!


Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Small Group Meeting Area Giddiness


I'm so excited with how my classroom has evolved for this year. I had hoped to put the finishing touches on it on Friday morning, but I got busy making over
my hand signals posters. Since the hand signals are such a huge part of my classroom, I wanted to make sure they were ready.
I have just a bit more to do. Nothing major. I'll wrap it up during our teacher workday on Tuesday. My favorite part is my small group meeting area. As you know, I've been coveting the cutesy and oh-so-practical crate seats for awhile now.
I actually bought all the materials to make them.
And then I had my son sit on the crate. Granted he is a bit smaller than most of my 3rd graders, but not much. He was so low to the ground and the table towered over him.
They would have been too low for my kiddos.
So I felt that gave me permission to go out and purchase the storage ottomans that I had walked by approximately 1 million and 4 times at Target this summer. And that I did.
I had bought material to make a table skirt for my small group table. And by that I mean that I bought material for my mom to make me a table skirt. Remember, girlfriend here does not sew.
Except it would appear that not only do my seamstress skills leave something to be desired, but so do my measurement skills. Because I measured the table and told my mother I needed her to make a skirt that was 3 feet and X number of inches long.
She did.
But what I SHOULD have told her was that it needed to be 3 YARDS long. I used a yardstick, but must have thought ruler in my head. Good thing I don't need to teach measurement for a few months. It appears I need to brush up.
Anyhow, this is what I like to call a "Happy Accident." Because I simply pieced together my mom's panel with leftover material from my "curtains." I'm going to add some ribbon to the top, but even without the ribbon I totally heart my small group area. It was inspired by the fabulous Deanna Jump and it makes me smile to look at.
As an added bonus, my home office chair was a casualty of the Great Room Shift of 2010 and no longer was welcome in my house. It happily resides at my teacher table and I just know it is going to be a hot spot for students wanting to sit there. I can't wait to get started.

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

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